Place: 98 Change: + 27
Worth 2018 €155 m (24.00%)
Worth 2017 €125 m
- Industry Sport
Northern Ireland's McIlroy (28) failed to retain the FedEx Cup in 2017 after his 2016 triumph, thus missing out on the $10m prize that comes with the trophy. The eight-figure cheque had pushed his on-course earnings to $16m between June 2016 and June 2017 but a second place finish in the British Masters in September failed to bring sparkle to what otherwise had been a poor year dogged by injury.
Perhaps the highlight of his year was his star-studded wedding to Erica Stoll at Ashford Castle in Co Mayo. McIlroy continues to be a massively bankable marketing star and his off-field success as a canny operator dwarfs any on-course dip in form. In April, Nike signed him up to a lucrative 10-year extension to his clothing deal worth $200m despite the fact that the company has left the golf equipment business. And that meant McIlroy could look for another equipment supplier, allowing him to sign a multi-year deal worth $100m the following month with Adidas equipment maker TaylorMade. Overall, Forbes magazine last year estimated that McIlroy earned $42.5m in 2016, making him the world's 17th highest paid athlete.
He also has lucrative deals with Bose, Omega and Upper Deck. He drives a €380,000 Lamborghini Aventador and has a €10m home in Palm Beach, Florida, as well as property in Dubai and Northern Ireland. His company, Rory McIlroy Management Services Ltd, recorded a pre-tax loss of $105.4m due to a non-cash write-down of $99m in the value of his lifetime image rights.